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Anthony Cook: Trust me -- we’re working on the comics page

  • 2 min to read
xThe Anniston Star flag

The Anniston Star's name is seen on the outside of Consolidated Publishing Co.'s Anniston headquarters.

An oft-used assessment of newspapers is that we try to have something for everyone, which means it’s rare that everyone is happy with what we provide.

We have no control over the news of the day, but we try to be cognizant of a healthy balance of location (making sure we check in daily on all of the cities and communities we cover) and interests (sports, politics, food, opinion, business, etc.).

But whenever we think we have our finger on the pulse of your interests and have about figured out the right mix of news and entertainment, something happens to remind us that we have blind spots and that everything we do — even things we consider inconsequential — is important to someone.

This week, that was the comics page in The Daily Home.

For decades, The Anniston Star and The Daily Home have both published a comics page. Over the years, the lineup changes from time to time, depending on cost and availability.

But throughout that time, both papers have had separate contracts for the content on the comics pages.

But it’s worse than one contract for The Star and a separate contract for The Daily Home. On the individual pages, there were separate contracts for different items.

For instance, the horoscopes come from a different service than Dear Abby, and Pickles and Blondie come from a different service than Garfield and Frank & Ernest.

And each newspaper had separate contracts for those different items.

It doesn’t make good sense for one company to keep wrangling with all those different agreements, even for separate newspapers that provide unique news coverage.

So, in an effort to consolidate those services for Consolidated Publishing, I began working with the different providers to streamline our offerings. That meant ending contracts with some services, while choosing one with whom to negotiate.

Unfortunately, several of the contracts were set to renew if they weren’t canceled immediately. That led to having to eliminate the comics page in The Daily Home before a new contract was established. I figured it would raise a brow or two, but that it wouldn’t be a big deal.

I was wrong.

The old saying goes: Don’t take down a fence until you know why it was put up.

In this case, fans of the comics page came out of the woodworks.

I received several phone calls and one very entertaining letter to the editor pleading for the return of the comics page.

Trust me, we’re working on it.

When they return, the comics pages for The Daily Home and The Anniston Star might look slightly different from the usual lineup, but we intend to have a healthy, vibrant array of strips, columns and puzzles for your enjoyment.

As is often the case with contracts, and always the case with newspapers, everyone won’t be happy with everything, but we’ll have a little bit of something for everybody.

Anthony Cook is executive editor of Consolidated Publishing Co.

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